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Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 11:32 UK

Moat targets Newcastle takeover


Tyneside businessman Barry Moat has emerged as the leading contender to buy troubled Championship side Newcastle United, BBC Sport understands.

Moat, an executive box holder at St James' Park, has previously invested in the club's academy and also helped to organise Alan Shearer's testimonial.

However it is understood no deal is expected imminently.

The Magpies, relegated last season after 16 years in the top flight, are also still seeking a permanent manager.

Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias said in a statement: "We would love to be able to expand further on the sale and managerial position at the club, but we're very sorry we're unable to make any further comment at the present time."

Moat is reported to have been in London this week, holding talks with the representatives of current owner Mike Ashley.

Some newspaper reports claim Moat's team has already carried out due diligence on the club's books.

However, BBC sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar explained the intricacies of a takeover would make a quick sale highly unlikely.

"There's been talk of an informal deadline of the end of this week set by Mike Ashley to get the sale sorted out by the start of the season, but that's not going to happen," he said.

"The official asking price is still £100m and anyone doing a deal for that amount is going to want to go through the paperwork thoroughly, that could take weeks."

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see also
Kinnear makes Newcastle job claim
05 Aug 09 |  Newcastle
Hughton fearful of player sales
03 Aug 09 |  Newcastle
Ashley wants quick Newcastle sale
31 May 09 |  Newcastle
Newcastle's season of misery
24 May 09 |  Newcastle
Family funeral held for Sir Bobby
05 Aug 09 |  England

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